Live from Greensboro, North Carolina (Woo) this is the Raw Deal for episode #1019. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport

Guy Voiceover (that's the name I'm giving him) narrated the opening video as usual. He told us that we'll be getting a tag match set up from Smackdown as John Cena & Sheamus take on Big Show & Dolph Ziggler. The opening video also focused on the attack of The Shield from last week. 

The announcers for the show are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler as usual. 

No Raw theme song or show opening pyro. They're saving money these days aren't they? Kane's pyro did go off as he made his entrance along with Daniel Bryan. No "no" yelling" by Bryan on his way to the ring. He also walked out with Kane during his music. Cole said Kane and Bryan were more of a unit now because they got attacked by The Shield last week. Up in a private box, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns (The Shield) were dressed in black as they looked down to the ring. Kane invited them to come down to the ring to fight.

Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. The Primetime Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil) 

This is non-title. Kane unloaded on O'Neil early with a series of fists and then a clothesline by Kane sent O'Neil over the top to the floor. Up in the skybox, Ambrose was all alone. The idea is we don't know where Rollins and Reigns are. Back in the ring, Kane hit a seated dropkick on Young for two. Bryan tagged in to work over Young. Reigns was shown in a different area of the building looking on, but still in skybox country. Young was able to get control of Kane. The crowd started cheering loudly as Bryan hit Young with a running knee attack on the floor. The crowd was reacting to Reigns and Ambrose moving closer to the ring. They went to break with Young on the floor, Bryan in the ring and the announcers focusing on what's going on in the crowd. 

Analysis: There's a lot going on except in the ring. This angle with The Shield is drawing a good reaction from the fans although in this case it's happening at the expense of a match. 

(Commercial) 

Back to the ring, O'Neil knocked down Kane with a clothesline. Reigns was now on the flooring area of the crowd. Ambrose is also on the floor. We don't know where Rollins is. Kane reversed an O'Neil suplex with one of his own. Tag to Bryan, who decked O'Neil with a clothesline. Corner dropkick by Bryan. I liked that camera shot because they showed it from a camera behind O'Neil as Bryan connected with the move. Young tagged in and hit a clothesline on Bryan followed by some elbow drops. Bryan quickly applied the No Lock on Young. O'Neil saved his partner. Reigns and Ambrose were at ringside now. Kane knocked O'Neil out of the ring. Young rolled up Bryan, but Bryan was able to counter it and he covered Young for the three count. The match went 12 minutes. 

Winners: Daniel Bryan & Kane 

Analysis: *1/2 The flow to the match was just okay. More of the focus was on the presence of The Shield. 

Post match, Reigns and Ambrose attacked Kane on the floor. Rollins attacked Bryan from behind while he was in the ring. They put Kane's arm between the steps and ring post and kicked the steps in a move that injured the arm of Kane. Bryan made a comeback on Rollins, so his buddies went into the ring and the three of them ended up dropping Bryan with the three man powerbomb. They left through the crowd as the crowd booed loudly. Kane checked on Bryan in the ring. 

Analysis: I liked the attack. It's still too early in the angle to wonder why more guys don't come out to save the babyfaces from these attacks, but that will have to happen soon. I thought they did a good job of creating a buzz by having the three guys in the crowd during the match and focusing on them as much they did. The crowd's into the angle. They booed them loudly after it was over. It's working. I'm interested in seeing where it goes from here. 

Backstage, Sheamus and John Cena were talking in the locker room. Sheamus thanked Cena for helping him on Smackdown. Sheamus started rambling using weird phrases that Cena had a tough time understanding. I was informed by some UK friends that it was about a show called Father Ted where he was kicking the arse of Bishop Brennan. Sounds fun huh? Cena said they need to be focused for their tag match later. Sheamus said what he does to Big Show will translate into any language. 

AJ Lee was shown walking to the ring. She's in a match. That's rare. 

Analysis: That was a basic backstage segment to set up the big tag match later. 

(Commercial) 

"Light It Up" time as AJ Lee makes her entrance. Her opponent is newly turned heel Tamina. 

AJ Lee vs. Tamina

AJ tried to attack, but Tamina used her power to drive her into the corner. AJ went to the top, so Tamina dragged her off the top rope with a hard arm drag. Tamina put AJ on her shoulders and applied a submission move where she applied pressure to AJ's ribs. Almost like a Torture Rack type move. Tamina got a cover for two. Tamina whipped AJ into the turnbuckle repeatedly to weaken her. Tamina hit a headbutt to the head of AJ. Tamina was headed for the top rope splash, but before she could get there AJ rolled her up for the victory after three minutes. 

Winner: AJ Lee 

Analysis: 1/2* Short match like most divas matches are in WWE. AJ barely got any offense. Tamina's offense wasn't great, but the crowd popped for the finish. I think AJ has a bright future as a babyface wrestler. By the way, whoever decides on the finish of these divas matches needs to come up with something better than the surprise rollup for the win. It's done way too often.

The theme song of WWE Champion CM Punk started up as the announcers commented about the attacks on Ryback in the last few weeks. Huge reaction to Punk, who entered along with Paul Heyman. It's day 379 as WWE Champion, the 7th in WWE history. They went to break with them in the ring. 

Analysis: I like that as a commercial break spot. It will keep people tuned in or encourage them to flip back in three minutes when the commercial is over because when you have the WWE Champion in the ring it should get the attention of the viewer. 

(Commercial) 

Back in the ring, Paul Heyman told us his name was Paul Heyman. He had the WWE Encyclopedia in his hand saying that his children were reading it. Heyman said he didn't like the book because there wasn't enough about the WWE Champion CM Punk. He said that with this being day #379 he will surpass John Cena on day #380 as the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era. That means Punk is the longest reigning champion of the past 25 years. Heyman claimed there is no argument to the fact that Punk should be front and center on WWE's version of Mount Rushmore. 

Punk claimed that he's still unfairly persecuted by the fans. Punk said that he defeated Ryback at Hell in a Cell, then defeated Cena and Ryback at Survivor Series, so why does he have to defend against Ryback at TLC in a TLC match. He claimed that it's because of the fans. He insulted the fans and then made a point to say that "your heroes" will never be able to beat him. Punk brought up Heyman, Maddox and The Shield saying they are not the reason why he's still WWE Champion. The truth is that if it wasn't for him none of the fans would be there. "CM Punk is the reason you tune in every single Monday night. If it wasn't for me you people would have nothing to look forward to on these dismal three hour Monday night Raw's." Well that's a fair point some weeks! Punk's angry face is great by the way. He said he had nothing to do with Maddox or The Shield, but he is the hottest thing going in WWE today. Punk dared the fans at home to change the channel and he told the fans in the building to leave the building. Maybe he wants to know what it feels like to be in front of a smaller TNA-like crowd? Sorry. That was mean. 

The music of The Miz started up and he stood at the ramp in a suit. He did his "really" bit with the fans chanting along and he told the fans to enjoy themselves. It's babyface time, folks. Miz said nobody believed Punk's lies. Punk wondered who Miz thought he was to cast judgment on him. He repeated saying "who am I?" Is he going to repeat everything now that he's a babyface? Miz said he had the guts to admit that he was a schemer when he was WWE Champion. Punk called him "Mike" and made fun of his Gucci shoes while calling him down to the ring. Miz said his shoes were Loubouton. I'm sure the metrosexuals of the world are marking out bro. 

Miz challenged Punk to come onto the Miz TV talk show. He invited Punk to take a lie detector test on the show. Heyman summarized what Miz was asking and called him "Mr. Mizanin." Miz said: "That's exactly what I'm proposing you human walrus." That was pretty good actually. A "Walrus" chant followed. Punk said he wanted the fans to apologize for the Walrus chant. Miz said "bring your best pipe bond." That's what it sounded like. I think he meant bomb. Miz said he's giving Punk the chance to clear his name. Then he wondered if Punk was afraid of the truth. Punk said he would take the test to prove to everybody that he's not a liar. 

Analysis: A promo in hour one of the show to promote a promo in the main event of the show? That took a while. I really liked the Heyman and Punk part. Miz was pretty annoying at the start of the promo repeating the same stuff a little too much, but once he got to the meat of the promo it was fine. I just thought that they took too long to get there. Then again it's a three hour show so there's plenty of time. 

Never forget. December 3 2012: On this day in history a "walrus" chant broke out on WWE Raw. 

Tag match after the break as Cena & Sheamus face Ziggler & Show. 

(Commercial) 

John Cena ran down to the ring during his entrance. I guess the knee injury storyline didn't last too long. Nikki Bella is a great healer. Google it, kids. As Sheamus entered, Lawler wondered how you can beat this team. They're the two strongest babyfaces on the roster in terms of how they are booked. He has a valid point doesn't he?  Ziggler and Show made their entrances separately of course. 

Sheamus & John Cena (Team Johnmus? Team Sheana?) vs. Big Show & Dolph Ziggler (Team Biggler? Team Zigshow?) 

Sheamus got a shoulder tackle, but Ziggler hit a dropkick to the stomach. Back elbow by Sheamus and then a tag to Cena. The dueling "let's go Cena/Cena sucks" chant was next. Cena hit a couple of armdrags on Ziggler, but then Ziggler to free of an armbar and then he brought Big Show into the match. Cena went for a shoulder block on Show, but Show just knocked Cena down with his own shoulder. Good spot. Hard chops to the chest by Show. Cena's body slam didn't work as Show fell on top of him for a two count. Ziggler tagged in for his ten elbow drops in a row. Ziggler missed a corner splash as both guys were down for a ten count. Hot tag to Sheamus while Show also tagged in. Sheamus hit Show with some shoulderblocks, then a knee left a leaping forearm that knocked down Show. The Sheamus Battering Ram shoulderblock off the top rope didn't work because Show gave him a spear. That was an awesome spot too. That took us to a commercial with both guys down in the ring. 

(Commercial) 

Back to the action, Show was working over Sheamus with a hard kick to the chest. Dropkick by the orange guy Ziggler on the pale guy Sheamus for two. Sheamus hit the Irish Curse Backbreaker on Ziggler, who was the legal man by this point. Sheamus made the hot tag to Cena. Shoulder blocks to Ziggler followed by the spinning suplex. Show kicked Cena before he could hit the Attitude Adjustment. Sheamus hit the White Noise on Show. As that happened, Cena pinned Ziggler with the Attitude Adjustment as 98% of the internet complained. The match went 14 minutes. 

Winners: Sheamus & John Cena 

Analysis: **1/2 A regular TV tag match that went long enough that could tell an interesting, albeit predictable, story. They're four guys that have worked so many of these types of tag matches that it's easy for them. The crowd was into it too, which is always nice to hear. Even though I didn't watch live I still got tweets and Facebook comments bitching about this finish as if it matters. It does not. It's a TV match. I understand complaining about the booking of PPV matches, but a tag match on Raw that means nothing? Not a big deal. I'd love for Cena to put over Ziggler and maybe he will. However, the result of this tag match doesn't matter that much. Cena didn't sell the knee injury at all. Of course he didn't. 

There was a recap of the Punk/Miz promo from earlier. The lie detector test is later. 

(Commercial) 

Damien Sandow made his way to the ring to garner some heel heat because his tag partner Cody Rhodes is injured. He said he's tried to help the fans to make them smarter. Sandow invited a fan in the ring to become his apprentice. He did this on Smackdown too. Of course he found a fan in a Little Jimmy t-shirt. And if you're wondering, it's a plant. This one doesn't even look like much of an indy wrestler if he is one. 

He has to answer three questions to be the apprentice. H2O is the chemical formula to what? Water. Crowd cheered. Who was the first president of the United States? George Washington. That's two right. Third question asked something written by an English poet that was obscenely difficult, so the guy had no idea and he failed. The answer was John Keats. Sandow called the guy an ignoramus and gave him the coveted idiot of the day award (not an actual award). 

The parting gift is a quote from Damien Sandow. I'm going to bold it just so you can use it if you need it: "Ignorance is curable, but stupid is forever." He told the guy to leave. You're welcome. 

Santino made his entrance. No power walk? That's a shame. Santino asked him a question. He was trying to ask: "How many seashells does she sell by the seashore?" Sandow answered with a common seashell, but Santino said he was wrong and then he went to attack Sandow with the microphone. That didn't work as Sandow decked Santino. Match after a break. 

Analysis: I'm a big fan of the Sandow act, so I had no problem with them using ten minutes of show time to get his character over even more. With Cody Rhodes on the shelf for this month (I believe he's back in January) it's a good way to keep Sandow fresh while continuing to piss off the fans by acting like a conceited jerk. He's such an old school type of heel. I love it. 

(Commercial) 

Damien Sandow vs. Santino 

Sandow whipped Santino in the ropes, so Santino just did his power walk instead of running. Quality comedy spot. Santino got a two count that Sandow kicked out of and decked Santino with a shot to the face. The announcers made up a story of how Santino won some power walking competition. Russian legsweep by Sandow followed by the Elbow of Disdain for two. Santino got a cradle for two. Santino came back with his hiptoss move leading to the Cobra. Sandow ducked to the floor. He went back into the ring where he was able to get the Cobra off Santino's hand. It's so awkward writing sentences like that. Santino missed a flying chop off the top rope. Sandow finished him off with the Terminus neckbreaker for the victory after three minutes. 

Winner: Damien Sandow 

Analysis: Basically it was a squash match to put over Sandow. I don't mind one or two of these kinds of matches. It's the weeks where they have four or five squash matches that really bother me.

After the match, Cole encouraged fans to Tout…and I just didn't care to listen to the rest. 

Backstage, Dolph Ziggler talked to Vickie Guerrero. He complained about Big Show being an awful tag partner that only cared about himself and that he (Ziggler) is a star. Ziggler told her that he can beat Cena and he wanted a match at TLC against Cena. She made the match. 

In Vickie's office, Brad Maddox was there with his own camera guy. He said he's there because he didn't want anybody to forget the name of Brad Maddox. They went to commercial. Weird spot for it. 

Analysis: That's the Goldust catchphrase. Odd that they would have Maddox say that. 

(Commercial) 

Back from break, Maddox was arguing with Vickie in her office. Maddox sucked up to her because he wanted a contract. He called himself entertaining and a Youtube sensation. He said his face on Raw makes it great TV rather than just good TV. She didn't tell him who he was facing although she promised it was going to be great TV. 

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara 

It should be noted there's no more mood lighting for Sin Cara, which is fine by me. Del Rio entered in a $325,000 Aston Martin. Maybe renting these Del Rio cars is why they don't have pyro at the start of the show anymore. Del Rio gave Sin Cara a bodyslam. Sin Cara came back with a couple of armdrags. Del Rio delivered a series of shoulders to the stomach of Sin Cara and then he followed that up with a kick for two. Sin Cara came back with a flipping armdrag off the top rope. Sin Cara delivered a series of kicks to the arm of Del Rio for two. Snap suplex for Del Rio earned him a two count. After Del Rio grounded him for a minute, Sin Cara hit a dropkick to the head. Del Rio missed an attack on the apron, so Sin Cara kicked him in the head. Sin Cara hit a headscissors off the apron that sent Del Rio flying into the security wall. They went to break with Del Rio on the floor for the vintage floor to commercial spot. 

(Commercial) 

Back from break, Sin Cara hit a hurricanrana for two. While on the floor, Sin Cara tried to springboard back in, but Del Rio shoved him to the floor again. Del Rio whipped him into the security wall. That led to a two count in the ring. Bridging German suplex by Del Rio for two. That's always been a favorite move of mine. Sin Cara came back with a picture perfect tornado DDT off the middle rope. Back elbow by Sin Cara followed by a headscissors. While on the apron, Sin Cara hit a kick to the head and then he went up top for a cross body block for the best nearfall of the match. Flipping reverse DDT by Sin Cara. Sin Cara missed the Senton Bomb off the top rope. Del Rio was able to quickly apply the Cross Armbreaker on the left arm. Sin Cara tapped out at the 13 minute mark. 

Winner: Alberto Del Rio 

Analysis: *** That was a fun match. We've seen them wrestle several times and this time it was more of an even match rather than a dominant win for Del Rio. To anybody that doesn't like Sin Cara because he botched some moves last year you need to move on. The guy is a very good worker who has improved a lot this year in WWE after struggling in his first year. Sometimes it takes people a bit of time to get used to the WWE style. Now that he's more comfortable you can tell his performances have gotten better. As usual, Del Rio was very good. He's the kind of worker that is always in the right place at the right time. 

Backstage, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was shown walking backstage. He told a backstage assistant that he'd like to have a conversation with Vickie Guerrero in the ring. 

Analysis: The announcers acted like it was a shock that Vince McMahon was at Raw. Why do they have to treat fans like idiots and act as if him being at Raw is a rare thing? I doubt anybody at home is thinking: "Wow Vince McMahon is there - what a shock!" Nobody thinks that. 

(Commercial) 

We got a recap of the Punk/Miz promo from earlier to set up the Punk/Miz talk show promo for later. 

Vickie Guerrero made her entrance. She still has no theme song, which is fine by me. She introduced the WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Cole called it a rare appearance. He was there last month to change the booking of the top Survivor Series matches, so I'm not sure what was so rare about this one. But again, they like to act as if Vince being on his show is a surprise. Sure guys. 

Vince asked her about the TLC matches she contemplated making. Vickie announced John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler for TLC. Vince said that if she wanted to make it epic they would add a stipulation. Vickie suggested a No DQ match. Vince didn't seem thrilled. He whispered in her ear and she yelled out "a ladder match." McMahon suggested hanging up a briefcase above Cena and Ziggler as in the Money in the Bank briefcase. This is where the internet started getting very mad, I'm guessing. McMahon brought up the John/AJ scandal and called it crap. I agree it's crap. Vickie announced the Cena vs. Ziggler Ladder Match at TLC for the Money in the Bank briefcase. 

They moved on with Vince saying he was busy earlier, but heard about the lie detector test later in the show. Vince suggested a punishment for Punk if he's found to be lying. Vickie came up with the idea that if Punk failed the lie detector test then Paul Heyman would have to face Ryback on Raw next week. Vince liked that. 

Analysis: Are these going to be a monthly segments where Vince suggests things to Vickie that she ends up booking? I'm not a huge fan of the Ziggler/Cena MITB stipulation because Cena already won the other one, so why should he get to compete for this one? If Ziggler loses the briefcase that would be silly because it would really help his career. Furthermore, can't Ziggler just cash it in on one of these shows before TLC as a way to not lose the briefcase? I'm not anti-Cena. I just think Ziggler cashing in will help him a lot and I hope it happens sooner rather than later. I don't blame most internet fans for being angry about this, though. 

Brad Maddox was shown walking to the ring for his match. 

(Commercial) 

Brad Maddox made his entrance. He didn't have a theme song, which is good. He did have a graphic on the Titantron that said "The Brad Maddox Experience." Good for him for having that. His opponent? Randy Orton, who got a huge ovation. 

Randy Orton vs. Brad Maddox 

Orton hit Maddox with a forearm to the back that sent Maddox to the floor. Clothesline by Orton on the floor. Back in the ring, Orton his signature DDT off the middle ropes. RKO ended it. Match went about one minute. 

Winner: Randy Orton 

Analysis: It was a squash match as expected. I'm not sure what the direction of Maddox will be other than being the guy that thinks he's better than he is. Delusional heels can be fun, though. 

Post match, all three members of The Shield attacked Orton from behind. The crowd was chanting "feed me more" during this, but no sign of Ryback. I guess he was eating. They destroyed Orton with a series of kicks. It ended with the three man powerbomb. Orton was in a lot of pain. 

Analysis: The theory that could be used with this assault is that maybe Brad Maddox is part of the group since all of them helped CM Punk retain his WWE Title in his last two pay-per-view matches. The attack was good although really the powerbomb was the only move they did other than a series of kicks. 

Another reminder of Miz TV later. 

(Commercial) 

Backstage, Vickie Guerrero was yelling at referee Charles Robinson about something when Ziggler showed up. He asked her what she was doing by putting the Money in the Bank briefcase on the line against John Cena at TLC. Ziggler said that Vickie is becoming a power hungry amateur like AJ was. He left. 

Paul Heyman walked into the room. He stared at Vickie. Neither one of them blinked for about twenty seconds. It felt like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with one of Larry's staredowns. Vickie said she hopes for Paul's sake that Punk is telling the truth. Paul left. 

John Cena showed up. He said it was a great match to put him against Ziggler at TLC and he thanked her for it. Cena says he owns a piece of history by being the only man to cash in Money in the Bank and fail. He says when he gets it this time he will become champion. Vickie said he had people clean out the divas locker room last week and he she found bowties with John Cena's face on them. He said they were the wrong color. Vickie said AJ can become obsessed with guys. I don't know I was zoning out there. 

Analysis: There's way too much Vickie on the show. I miss Laurinaitis. I even miss the laptop GM until it was revealed to be Hornswoggle. 

In the ring were Wade Barrett & Antonio Cesaro awaiting their opponents R-Truth & Kofi Kingston, who made his entrance last. Suddenly, Teddy Long showed up. He said since Vickie Guerrero is busy and Booker T isn't there he thinks they should change this to a fatal fourway championship match. Cue the jokes about Teddy changing a match to a tag match…wait a second he changed it out of a tag match. It's a swerve! 

Long wondered what title would be on the line: Kingston's IC Title or Cesaro's US Title. A graphic was ready to tell us what title would be on the line and you could tell us what it would be by voting on Twitter. 

Analysis: A whole three minutes to vote during the commercial. What a voting period. 

(Commercial) 

The results of the RawActive vote: 83% for US Title and 17% for IC Title. That's probably legit because fans would want to see the heel have to defend his title. 

US Title Match: Antonio Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett vs. R-Truth 

Fatal fourway means all four guys in the ring at once so there's a lot of action going on. Cesaro took down Kingston in the ring while the other two were on the floor. Cesaro hit a running forearm in the corner while Barrett decked Truth with a clothesline on the floor. Back in the ring, Barrett knocked Cesaro out of the ring with a clothesline. Barrett hit a pumphandle slam on Kingston for two. Kingston hit a dropkick onto Cesaro, who was on the floor. Meanwhile on the other side of the ring, Truth knocked Barrett out of the ring with a punch to the head. Truth and Kingston faced off in the ring with a handshake since they were tag team champions together. They hit a dropkick at the same time, so it was a stalemate. Kingston knocked Cesaro out of the ring with a forearm shot. Then Kingston dropped Barrett to the floor with a clothesline. Lots of clotheslines to the floor in this match. Kingston hit a dive between the top and middle rope onto Barrett. Truth went for a springboard attack on Cesaro, but he got caught and Cesaro drove him back first into the security wall. Kingston ran over to where Cesaro was, jumped off the steel steps and Cesaro DESTROYED HIM with an uppercut shot to the chest. Wow that was very impressive! The replay made it look even better. They went to break there for the vintage floor to commercial spot. 

(Commercial) 

Back to the match, Cesaro applied a single leg Boston Crab on Kingston. Truth took down Cesaro with clotheslines and then a front suplex. Barrett pulled down the rope as Truth was running towards them, so Truth went crashing to the floor. Barrett and Cesaro started brawling. Kingston hit a cross body block on Cesaro for two thanks to a Barrett save. Bossman Slam (I'll always call it that) by Barrett on Kingston for two. Truth hit a scissors kick on Barrett for two. Kingston hit an armdrag on Cesaro off the top rope. Barrett went for a superplex on Truth and Kingston powerbomed Barrett down in the Tower of Doom spot. Cesaro nailed Kingston with a slam off of his shoulders for a two count. The pace really picked up by this point. Slingshot by Truth. Then he hit a clothesline on Cesaro that sent them both to the floor. Kingston hit chops followed by a dropkick and the leaping clothesline on Barrett. Cole said that's why they called Kingston the Wildcat. Nobody calls him that. Boom Drop by Kingston on Barrett. Cesaro pulled Kingston out of the ring to slow him down. Truth hit a jumping sidekick onto Cesaro. Barrett hit the Bull Hammer elbow on Truth. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on Barrett. Cesaro picked up Kingston and hit the Neutralizer for the win after 13 minutes. 

Winner: Antonio Cesaro 

No replays of the finish? The show is three hours long and you don't have time to show replays of the best match of the night? I don't understand this show sometimes. 

Analysis: ***1/2 That was fun. Best match of the night. They really worked their asses off, the spots were well timed and the finishing sequence was wonderfully done. The spot of the match was Cesaro's forearm shot on Kingston on the floor. That's one I won't soon forget. At least I hope I don't forget it. This match did a good job of putting over Cesaro, which is fine with me. The guy has main event potential. So does Barrett. Also I'm not a huge fan of triple threats or fatal fourway matches all the time, but to do them once a month on television like this keeps them fresh. There are no rest spots in a match like this. It's all about guys getting knocked down to the floor and then building to an exciting finish. Great work by all four guys.   

There was replay of the Hell in a Cell finish when Brad Maddox cost Ryback the WWE Title. Then they showed the end of the Survivor Series match when The Shield cost Ryback the WWE Title by giving him a powerbomb through the table. Remember Cena selling the Shellshock for three minutes? That was a little ridiculous. 

Up next is the main event Miz TV promo. 

(Commercial) 

This week it's Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett for the 432nd time. I added that number in. 

Miz TV with CM Punk 

Miz introduced some dude (Mr. Abramson) that is from the sheriff's department to handle the lie detector test. They had a bunch of wires there to make it look all legit. Miz introduced the WWE Champion CM Punk. Punk entered along with Paul Heyman. 

Punk said Miz is stupid because his microphone is upside down. He encouraged the fans to cheer for Miz and said the fans should be embarrassed about that. Punk says the title reign of Miz was forgettable, so that's why he's doing this. He said they were jealous of him just like the people of Greensboro. Miz said he wasn't paying attention, so Punk said "you didn’t pay attention in wrestling school either." I'm thinking Punk is enjoying this considering the unflattering things he said about Miz on Punk's DVD. Punk said that Miz sucks, wondered if he was lying and then Miz said: "He doesn't but your mom does." Wow. Comedy. Babyface Miz is not awesome at this point. It will take time. 

Miz said they had to ask basic questions first and then he mentioned that if Punk was caught lying then Heyman had to face Ryback last week. Another "walrus" chant started. 

Q1. What's your name? CM Punk. If he said "Phil" would that be wrong? 

Q2. Have you been WWE Champion for 379 days? Yep. 

Q3, In 2010 at Over The Limit did Rey Mysterio shave his head bald? Punk was hesitant, but he said yes. It's true. 

Q3. The year Miz main evented WrestleMania (2011), did Punk lose to Randy Orton? Yes. Correct. Punk said the only reason Miz won his match (at WM27) was because Dwayne (Rock) attacked John Cena. Punk said that what everybody remembers from that WrestleMania is his classic with Orton and all Miz did was get a concussion in his main event match. Miz called Heyman a walrus again. 

Q4. Do you think you can beat Ryback by yourself? Punk said yes. The lie detector showed a big line to show that he was lying. That's an opinion as Punk pointed out. 

Q5. Did you work with Brad Maddox at Hell in a Cell? Did you work with The Shield to win at Survivor Series? 

Before Punk could answer, The Shield showed up and they attacked The Miz. They cleared the ring of all the equipment while Punk, Heyman and Abramson left the ring. The three members of The Shield delivered the three man powerbomb to Miz in the middle of the ring. Kane and Daniel Bryan made their way down to the ring. Reigns took care of Bryan while Ambrose & Rollins double teamed Kane. 

Ryback made his entrance with his music playing. Ryback gave Ambrose a back body drop over the top to the floor. He dumped Ambrose into the crowd. Bryan was taking care of Rollins while Kane had the advantage over Reigns. All three fights spilled into the crowd. CM Punk was all alone in the ring. He trash talked Miz, who was still down in the middle of the ring. He kicked him out of the ring. Punk's music started to play. 

Ryback entered the ring. He hit Punk with Shellshock. Ryback got a chair. He also got a ladder. Good way to promote the TLC match isn't it? Ryback hit Punk in the stomach with a ladder shot. Ryback hit Punk in the back with a steel chair shot. Ryback got a table. Ryback gave Punk a powerbomb through the table in the center of the ring. 

To end the show, Ryback stood over the fallen WWE Champion and led the crowd in "feed me more" chants. 

Analysis: The best part of the lie detector segment was the comments of Punk, who doesn't seem like he's fond of The Miz. I don't think those comments were that much of a work based on what he's said in the past. I don't think Miz is doing very well as a babyface at this point, but like I said it's going to take him some time to get there. Punk was great as usual. Miz was just okay. 

It was interesting to see the babyfaces get the advantage after seeing The Shield dominating for a few weeks. It's obviously convenient that they entered after Punk was asked a tough question and he didn't have to answer it, so that continues to add on to the idea that they are working for Punk. Seeing Ryback get his revenge on Punk was satisfying. You shouldn't book him to get that much offense every single week because you need to make Ryback sympathetic, but after three shows of him getting attacked it makes sense that he got his revenge here. I don't expect Ryback to win the WWE Title at TLC. I doubt many people do. However, this angle was done in such a way that it's going to make people think he's going to win the WWE Title. 

Three Stars of the Show 

1. CM Punk

2. Antonio Cesaro 

3. Alberto Del Rio 

The Scoreboard 

6 out of 10 

Last week: 7.5 

2012 Average: 5.91 

2012 High: 9 (January 30) 

2012 Low: 3 (July 9) 

Last 5 Weeks: 7.5, 7, 6, 4.5, 4 

Final Thoughts 

The last two weeks were better, but this week's show was alright. 

I enjoyed CM Punk's performance as usual. It's rare to not see him in a match although I'm fine with that. His heel charisma is amazing. He does all of the little things right and keeps the crowd involved in his promos by ripping on them at every opportunity. Love it. 

The match highlights were the four way match for the US Title and the Del Rio/Sin Cara match was fantastic as well. Last week there were better matches overall. 

I don't mind Vickie Guerrero, but there was too much of her on this show. The monthly segments with Vince McMahon suggesting ideas to her are uncomfortable. It's almost as if Vince is out there to say that he changed his mind on the booking, so he's out there to tell us that by appearing on the show in person. 

I like the lineup for TLC. It should be a very good PPV. I just hope Ziggler doesn't lose Cena. Wins and losses don't matter that much, but I think it would hurt Ziggler to lose his Money in the Bank briefcase. 

What happened to the Ric Flair hype in North Carolina? It didn't happen. I still think he'll be back before WrestleMania gets here, but I'm not sure when. 

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That's all for me. I have a column in mind for later on this week, so I'll get to work on that and then next Tuesday I'll be back with the Raw Deal as usual. 

Until next time, thanks for reading.

John Canton - mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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